In Sean McDermott’s first year as a defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers, they ranked 32nd in DVOA. In his fifth, they ranked third for the second time in three years and went 15-1 in the regular season. Two years after that, McDermott was coaching the Buffalo Bills to their first postseason appearance in 18 tries. Three seasons after that, McDermott’s Bills improved to 3-0 after beating the NFL’s other Sean Mc-name* in a wild contest that tested the Rams’ strengths and weaknesses from many different angles.
LA next closes out their NFC East schedule with games against the New York Giants and Washington Football Team, the latter of which being a team that may not strike fear into many given their current spot on the development curve, but is nevertheless coached by McDermott’s mentor and boss for six years in Carolina.
Football Team may not be as football team as some other football teams around the league right now, but Ron Rivera has a defensive line in Washington that rivals any he had with the Panthers and that is not only impressive, it is 100% factual.
One person who is quite familiar with all three of these teams and much more is Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic, who covered the Panthers for four years with the Charlotte Observer and then made the move cross-country to start covering the LA Rams this season. Her latest article, “The Pile: Inside an unprecedented Rams comeback, and why it ultimately failed” details Sean McVay and Brandon Staley’s second half plan to get back in the lead and much more.
You can listen below or on your podcast apps and the topics we discussed are listed below.
- How does Jourdan’s first year of covering the Rams compare to her experiences covering the Panthers and the two respective coaches?
- With Jordan Fuller’s role being so key already, has there been any talk about the progress of Terrell Burgess by comparison? What’s the status on Terrell Lewis?
- What did Sean McDermott do right against the Rams to get the advantage to win?
- What are the potential improvement opportunities for the defense that could be achieved this season?
*No disrespect intended to ignore 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey, whose middle name is Sean.